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Reduced public funding for basic research leaves U.S. in the scientific dust

Stashed in: Science!, Innovation, America!, NASA, CRISPR

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Of all the strange places to "save" public money, basic scientific research seems like the very dumbest one. Have you heard of CRISPR/Cas gene editing? The lead scientist on that breakthrough thought it was the VERY LEAST immediately useful research she had ever done when she started. Now, through a combination of factors including less funding, weird patent law, and quasi-religious wackness, the US looks like it's gonna get dusted in this critical technology. Same with stem cell research. The guy who alerted us to the fact that California has only a year of water left, based on his innovative research with satellite "scales", is fighting for his professional life as Koch-funded congresspeople try to get rid of atmospheric science in NASA. The Republican party of my childhood at least paid lip service to the idea that national investment in education and innovation was good and necessary, even if most of that "innovation" was military-industrial... but now both sides seem to be racing towards the bottom.

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